Daryl Gregory‘s latest books are We Are All Completely Fine (Tachyon Publications) and the near-future SF novel Afterparty (Tor Books). The YA Lovecraftian adventure Harrison Squared is forthcoming from Tor. He lives in State College, PA, in a rapidly emptying house, and is looking for a good dog. If you know of one, you can contact him at darylgregory.com.

How to Write a Completely Inadequate Horror Movie

by Daryl Gregory

I grew up during the golden age of slasher flicks. Jason, Freddy, Michael, and Chucky were my teenage companions. I remember being in the theatre for the original Friday the 13th, watching the face of that “final girl” as the credits rolled. She knew the nightmare would never be over. The monster would be coming back, though for a new set of victims and cheaper actors.

It was only years later that I began musing about what happened to those sole survivors after the movie was over. How were they not dysfunctional wrecks for the rest of their lives? Serious therapy-and serious meds-had to be in their future. Even when a hero or heroine returned for a sequel, the years of recovery (or attempted recovery) were barely touched on, or skipped altogether, before the new batch of bodies began piling up. But what was life like for them between the movies?

It’s not the job of movies to answer these questions. In every film (like any work of art) there must be things left unsaid, aspects of those worlds that go unexplained because they would destroy the tone of the movie, dilute its effects, or just plain blow out its running time. But some questions are left unexamined because movies can’t ask them: they’re ill-equipped for certain tasks that prose fiction is built to handle.
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NOTE: This installment of Special Needs In Strange Worlds features a guest post from author Chris Dolley! – Sarah Chorn

New York Times bestselling author, pioneer computer game designer and teenage freedom fighter. That was back in 1974 when Chris was tasked with publicising Plymouth’s Student Rag Week. Some people might have arranged an interview with the local newspaper. Chris invaded the country next door, created the Free Cornish Army and persuaded the UK media that Cornwall had risen up and declared independence. This was later written up in Punch. As he told journalists at the time, ‘it was only a small country and I did give it back.’

In 1981, he created Randomberry Games and wrote Necromancer, one of the first 3D first person perspective D&D computer games. Not to mention writing the most aggressive chess program ever seen and inventing the most dangerous game ever played — the Giant Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum Cliff Top Relay.

He writes SF, fantasy, mystery and humour. His novel, Resonance, was the first book to be chosen from Baen’s electronic slush pile.

Now he lives a self-sufficient lifestyle in deepest France with his wife and a frightening number of animals. They grow their own food and solve their own crimes. The latter out of necessity when Chris’s identity was stolen along with their life savings. Abandoned by the police forces of four countries who all insisted the crime originated in someone else’s jurisdiction, he had to solve the crime himself. Which he did, driving back and forth across the Pyrenees, tracking down bank accounts and faxes and interviewing bar staff. It was a mystery writer’s dream.

The resulting book, French Fried: one man’s move to France with too many animals and an identity thief, is now an international bestseller.

OCD and How to Write a Thriller When Your Protagonist Refuses To Leave His Room

by Chris Dolley

Do you have a ritual – a little superstition that you bring out now and then when you need that extra bit of help? Maybe you play a sport. Maybe you insist on being the last one to leave the dressing room before every match, or put your kit on in exactly the same order, or touch the ground and cross yourself before kick off, or touch both goalposts before attempting to save a penalty…

What if those rituals took over your life? Left you unable to pass a table without feeling compelled to align the cutlery. Forced you to catch the same train to work every morning, to stand in the same spot in the same carriage. To walk the same number of steps each day from the station to your place of work. Every week of your life mapped out to be a twin of the week before – the same meals, the same schedules. And the same terror the moment anything looked like disrupting your perfect, ordered life.

To be trapped in a world just so.
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The Clarion class of 2012 is putting together a fundraiser anthology called The Red Volume that’s available for pre-order now at awkwardrobots.org.

Press release follows…

CLARION 2012 RELEASES FUNDRAISER ANTHO

The Clarion class of 2012—known as the Awkward Robots—want to tell you a story. Or, more precisely, 17 stories. About post-singularity dreamscapes, gentrified haunted houses, and redcaps in the trenches at Verdun.

The Red Volume is a collection of stories largely written and revised during the Clarion Foundation’s fundraising write-a-thon, which runs concurrently with the workshop. The anthology will be available this September on a pay-what-you-can basis. Readers can snag a copy for free, or donate any amount from 99 cents up. All proceeds benefit the Clarion Foundation.

AwkBot Luke R. Pebler, whose fiction most recently appeared in the Sword and Laser anthology, proposed the idea to his cohort following a successful reading at WisCon 38. Awkward Robots Read was so well-received, Pebler wanted to put that momentum to good use. The result is a a collection of stories by writers previously published in Lightspeed, Shimmer, Strange Horizons, The New Yorker, and more. The table of contents includes Carmen Maria Machado, winner of the Richard Yates Short Fiction Prize, and Sam J. Miller, recent recipient of the Shirley Jackson Award.

But it takes more than good writing to build an anthology; AwkBot Emma Cosh holds down a day job in graphic design, and Sarah Mack (whose latest story appears in Gone Lawn 15) is a master of eBook distribution. Together, the ‘Bots have created a slick, stylish anthology packed with arresting prose.

Jeffrey Ford, winner of the Nebula, Shirley Jackson and World Fantasy Awards, will write The Red Volume‘s introduction. Ford taught week one of Clarion 2012, and fondly refers to the AwkBots as “a bunch of chuckleheads.” You couldn’t ask for a better endorsement.

The Red Volume is available for pre-order at awkwardrobots.org. Follow @AwkBots2012 on Twitter for updates.

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There is still some time left for you to enter our giveaway for Echopraxia by Peter Watts…but hurry, time is running out!

See the original post for details on how to enter.

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There is still some time left for you to enter our giveaway for The Ultra Thin Man by Patrick Swenson…but hurry, time is running out!

See the original post for details on how to enter.

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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-08-12

Interviews & Profiles

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REVIEW SUMMARY: A highly satisfying read, this third (out of four) book in Philip’s Rebel Angels series gets us one step closer to the dissolution of the veil that separates our world from the Sithe world. Meanwhile, Seth is trying to keep his clan safe and his son Rory out of trouble, and not succeeding with either.

MY RATING:

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Excellent characterization; well paced plot; Philip’s writing is sure to get an emotional reaction out of the reader as she builds on the previous installments in the series.
CONS: Change in character POVs and jumps between 1st person and 3rd person POV can be jarring; readers new to the series are not advised to leap right in at this volume.
BOTTOM LINE: While much Urban Fantasy hasn’t thrilled me, Philip’s Rebel Angels series easily defines everything I want out of an Urban Fantasy novel. If you’re in need of an UF palate cleanser and enjoy adventures into the Fae realm, this might be just the thing.

For those of you new to this multi-generational urban fantasy series, here’s a very quick and simplified recap of the story so far:

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Steve Rasnic Tem was born in Lee County Virginia in the heart of Appalachia. His latest novel Blood Kin (Solaris, March 2014), alternating between the 1930s and the present day, is a Southern Gothic/Horror blend of snake handling, ghosts, granny women, kudzu, and Melungeons. His previous novels are Deadfall Hotel (Solaris, 2012), The Man On The Ceiling (Wizards of the Coast Discoveries, 2008—written with Melanie Tem, an expansion of their novella), The Book of Days (Subterranean, 2002), Daughters (Grand Central, 2001-also written with Melanie Tem), and Excavation (Avon, 1987). Steve has also published over 400 short stories. His latest collection is this year’s Here With The Shadows, a selection of traditionally-inspired ghostly fiction from Ireland’s Swan River Press. Other recent collections include Ugly Behavior (New Pulp, 2012-noir fiction), Onion Songs (Chomu, 2013), Celestial Inventories (ChiZine, 2013), and Twember (NewCon, 2013-science fiction.) In 2015 PS Publishing will bring out his novella In the Lovecraft Museum. You can visit the Tem home on the web at www.m-s-tem.com.


[Alvaro Zinos-Amaro] To say you’ve been busy during the last few years would be an understatement. In 2012 you published the novel Deadfall Hotel and the short story collection Ugly Behavior; 2013 saw the appearance of no less than three more collections, Onion Songs, Celestial Inventories, and Twember; and so far in 2014 you’ve published the novel Blood Kin, and another collection, Here with the Shadows. What are the secrets to being so productive? Anything in particular spur this recent burst of publications?
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Eric Brown is an award-winning writer and cornerstone of the SF community; a regular contributor to the Guardian’s SF book reviews and a much-respected novelist. Jani and the Greater Game is his first Steampunk novel and – in true Brown style – it’s going to be a must-read both for fans of his previous work, and for readers interested in the new wave of Steampunk and alt-history. Engaging, enthralling and evocative, Jani and the Greater Game is redefining the world of Steampunk.

What Steampunk Means To Me

by Eric Brown

I read steampunk at its very inception, long ago in the 1980s – Tim Power’s The Anubis Gates, K.W. Jeter’s Infernal Devices, and the works of James P. Blaylock – back when the sub-genre wasn’t even graced with a sobriquet but was lumped in with the catch-all term of Fantasy. Little did any of us realise, at the time, what a thriving genre it would become, nor what a lifestyle sub-culture these and other novels would spawn. (There is even, as I sit typing, a Steampunk-themed café seven miles north of here in North Berwick, East Lothian).

To me, in the Eighties, these and other novels occupied a strange hinterland between SF and Fantasy. While fantastical, they didn’t much partake of the occult or the overly magical; and while ostensibly SF, they weren’t tied to the rigorous rationality of Hard SF. They were great adventure romps which played fast and loose with the conventions of science fiction and fantasy; they had their cake and ate it.
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In episode 255 of the SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester and Jaym Gates bring together Kate Elliott, Tad Williams, Laura Resnick, Felix Gilmanand Sarah Chorn to discuss Epic Fantasy!

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Just in case you didn’t find anything in the roundup of 330+ SF/F/H Kindle eBook Deals $3.99 or Less, here are a bunch more.

All of these titles are priced under $4 at the time of writing this post. But prices are subject to change, so check the price before clicking “buy”. If Amazon is not your eBook ecosystem, please do look up the titles wherever you buy your eBooks; discounts are often applied at other outlets, so check there.

  1. Creep, Shadow by Abraham Merritt ()
  2. Angel of Europa by Allen Steele (Open Road Media)
  3. The Loving Dead by Amelia Beamer (Night Shade Books)

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Here’s the cover and synopsis for Naomi Novik’s upcoming novel Uprooted.
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Honest Game Trailers: Mass Effect

It’s good to see the Honest Trailer guys branching out into videogames…

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Books Received: August 11, 2014

In the interest of full disclosure, here are the books we received this week.
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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-08-11

Interviews & Profiles

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Short Film: Standby

Leave it to Geek Art Gallery to find the cool short films. That’s where I found Standby, a short-but-cool SciFi film by Trey Drysdale that plays with the portal concept…

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With so many books that I already want to read, I’m not quite sure why I get so excited to learn about even more books that I want to read coming on the horizon. It’s like someone offering you a glass of water when you’re already drinking from a fire hose. Nevertheless, I still get a bit giddy when I learn of tasty, new tomes.

Here’s a slew of forthcoming books on my radar…

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Here’s the cover and synopsis for the upcoming novel A Vision of Fire by Gillian Anderson (yes, that Gillian Anderson) and Jeff Rovin.

Here’s the synopsis:
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Here’s the the table of contents for the new anthology Paradox: Stories Inspired by the Fermi Paradox edited by Ian Whates:

Here’s the book description:

The Fermi Paradox is the apparent contradiction between the high probability of extraterrestrial civilizations’ existence and the lack of contact with such civilizations.

In Paradox, some of the world’s leading science fiction authors are joined by physicists, astronomers, and other scientists in writing original stories inspired by Fermi’s famous paradox, which has to number among the most diverting and perplexing puzzles of modern existence, daring to ask…

Where Is Everybody?

Here’s the table of contents…
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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-08-09

Interviews & Profiles

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